"We're living in the dark ages here." Doctor Alan Weintraub is one of just seven developmental pediatricians in Georgia. Parents wait months to see him, to get the diagnosis of autism.
"You can take this child like looking like he has severe autism to fitting into the world. it would make a huge incredible difference. If the families can afford the therapies early on, it's the biggest turning point."
The autism diagnosis highlights a class divide. Families with money can give their children all the therapies. The rest, can't.
"You're talking about someone's salary to pay for that weekly intervention. If we can get that covered in a more appropriate fashion, you're taking away that class warfare. You're taking away that inequity."
The station commissioned a state poll:
Should Georgia law require health insurance plans in the state to cover treatments for autism? Or not?
Should Require - 76%
Should Not - 15%
Not Sure - 8%
Data from other states show the cost to cover autism treatments is about 32 cents per person per month. Does knowing this make you more likely to say Georgia should require insurance plans to cover treatments for autism? Does it make you less likely to say Georgia should require plans to cover treatments? Or does it not make a difference?
More Likely - 57%
Less Likely - 9%
Does Not Make a Difference - 32%
Not Sure - 1%
Is there someone with autism in your immediate family? Is there no one in your immediate family, but someone with autism among your extended family or friends? Or do you not know anyone with autism?
Immediate Family - 8%
Extended Family / Friends - 41%
No One - 49%
Not Sure - 2%